CFP: Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives 2016, September 3rd, 2016, Bristol, UK

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Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives 2016

Call for Papers for a 1-day postgraduate symposium hosted by the Digital Cultures Research Centre

Abstract deadline: April 15th, 2016

Conference date and location: September 3rd, 2016, Digital Cultures Research Centre, The Watershed, Bristol

Eligibility: Postgraduate students (MA/MSc onwards) and creative practitioners

Send abstracts to: popsex.conference@gmail.com

Keynote speaker: Cheryl Morgan

The second annual Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives symposium is returning to the Bristol Watershed in September 2016. Following an exciting inaugural symposium in 2015, this year’s event will continue our tradition of offering a safe, inclusive space for postgraduate students and creative practitioners to meet peers, share work and learn from each other.

We are delighted to welcome Cheryl Morgan as the keynote speaker for PopSex16. Cheryl is a Hugo award-winning science fiction critic and publisher. She is the owner of Wizard’s Tower Press and the Wizard’s Tower Books ebook store. Previously she edited the Hugo Award winning magazine, Emerald City (Best Fanzine, 2004). She also won a Hugo for Best Fan Writer in 2009. She is a Co-Chair of Out Stories Bristol and lectures regularly on both trans history and science fiction and fantasy literature.

We continue to be interested in how representations of sex and sexualities in popular culture shape feminist – and anti-feminist – issues and discourses. Since our 2015 event, we have seen both the box office success and backlash against films such as Mad Max Fury Road (noted for strong feminist themes and female leads in a traditionally male-dominated franchise) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which upset “Men’s Rights Activists” through its failure to feature a straight, white, male hero). MRAs have also made abortive attempts to organise away from the keyboard. Eddie Redmayne, the cisgender male actor cast as the lead in The Danish Girl, has drawn criticism for his claims that the movie has brought trans issues to the mainstream. Fanfiction has received even more mainstream coverage with speculation that pressure from fans may move Disney to make one of the leads in the latest Star Wars trilogy canonically gay. And of course many aspects of sex and sexualities remain silenced and unrepresented in popular culture. We welcome, among others, proposals which examine these trends and take the (mis/under)representations of sex and sexualities in popular culture as a starting point to theorise the links between popular culture and real-world feminist issues and activism.

We aim to create a space safe for experimentation – both with new ideas and with presentation formats. We therefore encourage a range of submissions, including workshops, discussions, pecha kucha, as well as the traditional 20-minute paper format.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

– Representations of women’s desire and sexualities in popular culture
– Non-cis- and heteronormative sexualities in popular culture, especially beyond “gay and lesbian”
– Representations of sex work
– Infertility and sexual dysfunction
– Sexual intersections, including race, disability, religion, class and socioeconomic status, gender, etc.
– Sex and sexualities in gaming
– Sexual pleasure in popular culture
– Invisibility: (a)sexualities unrepresented
– Sex, sexualities and social media
– Sex and sexualities in fan and transformative works

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bio to popsex.conference@gmail.com by April 15th, 2016.

We look forward to your proposals

Bethan Jones, Monika Drzewiecka, Milena Popova

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